Rebuttal to the Chinese Mayans connection

I refer to the article of my good friend, Jose Antonio, on the possible Chinese Mexicans (Mayans) connection (see the preceding post).  However, I came across an article written in English appearing in a China magazine, which said there is another group of Chinese scholars who does not subscribe to such connection. It said as follows:

Professor Xu Shicheng is one of that group. An expert in Latin American studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, he is also the vice president of the Chinese Association for Latin American Studies. He says the two groups of scholars not only exist in China, but worldwide. One group cannot convince the other of its arguments.

Xu Shicheng has been to several central American countries to visit Maya ruins. He says that the evidence of the Chinese connection is far from convincing.

“Take the language for example. Deciphered Maya hieroglyphs are just a tiny proportion of the whole. Much of its highly complex systems of writing were recorded in books made from bark paper. Because of their perishable nature and book-burning by Spanish invaders, only four books remain today. The Maya hieroglyphs still remain as a great mystery. Therefore, study based on the deciphered ones is not convincing enough.”

Xu Shicheng admits there are similarities between the cultural relics of the two civilizations. But he prefers to explain it as coincidence, saying that such similarities could also be found between Chinese civilization and other ancient civilizations. He points out that differences between the two civilizations far outnumber the similarities. For instance, Maya’s main form of architecture was stone pyramid temples, while in China, it was wooden palaces; Maya’s primary crop was corn which resulted in their worship of the God of Corn, but the major crop in ancient China was rice. What’s more, the Mayans didn’t know how to make metal tools, how to raise livestock, and how to make wheels, which were mastered by ancient Chinese.

Xu Shicheng points out that Maya and Chinese are two independent civilizations, which don’t share the same origins. “I believe that Maya civilization was built on the inherited inventions and ideas of earlier civilizations in central America such as the Olmec. And Maya people are not gone, since there are still some two million descendants of Maya living in Mexico.

Professor Xu Shicheng points out that some people even say the Mayans were extraterrestrial beings, which is sheer fabrication. But he says there are still many mysteries of Maya, which are beyond people’s imagination. For example, why did it disappear all of a sudden while there were no signs of famine, plague or war? Without metal tools and animal-drawn vehicles, how was it possible to quarry huge slabs in distant mountains and transport them for the construction of magnificent temples? How to reconcile such astonishing cultural achievements as a calendar that could work for 6000 years without error, complex computations in terms of billions, and an exquisite system of hieroglyphs with productivity represented by slash-and-burn farming? What secrets are the statues with their stern expressions and the esoteric language inscribed on the tablets supposed to tell?

Professor Xu Shicheng hopes more people will begin to research the answers to these mysteries.

I would appreciate it if any of my friends could translate the above passage into Spanish for the benefit of my Spanish-only readers, of whom my friend Jose Antonio is one of them.

Chinese and Mexicans were connected 5000 years ago

My friend Jose Antonio has written an article on the subject in Spanish. I have translated it into English and Chinese and has posted it at my blog at for the benefits of my Chinese friends

Durante la Dinastía Tang (618-907), un grupo de eruditos chinos escribió sobre un supuesto viaje de marineros chinos a un país lejano al que llamaron Fusang, revela a su vez, en un libro recientemente publicado en inglés, el profesor Hu Chundong, de la Universidad de Beijing (Pekín). Investigaciones posteriores permitieron afirmar que ese nombre se refería a una zona ocupada ahora por México. Coincidentemente, una leyenda maya explica el origen de sus antepasados en una corriente migratoria de desconocidos que llegaron a Yucatán por el mar del Oeste, dice el profesor chino. Chundong apoya también la noción de los acoplamientos cercanos chinos y mayas. Durante más de 25 años ha estudiado los jeroglíficos mayas y ha encontrado semejanzas entre los dialectos mayas y la lengua china antigua. Mediante el Método lingüístico contrastivo”, que se emplea para comparar dos idiomas, el profesor eligió 100 palabras populares de cada lengua y encontró que 22 son similares en la pronunciación, sobre todo con dialectos de China Suroeriental. Este descubrimiento, entre otros, le permitió al profesor Chudong formular la hipótesis de que los mayas (o al menos un grupo de ellos) salieron de Asia hace 5,000 años. El descubrimiento de Chundong se suma a otras evidencias, como las semejanzas entre las artesanías mayas y chinas. En la artesanía maya se reconoce un “estilo chino”, sobre todo en piezas encontradas en Campeche, muy similares a artesanías de la Dinastía Tang, dice Chudong.

Hace cinco mil años una corriente migratoria de China llegó al Continente Americano y fundó varios pueblos indígenas, entre ellos el de los mayas de Yucatán, según exámenes recientes de ADN –el código de la herencia genética- practicados a herederos de ambas culturas. La influencia china sobre la civilización maya se observa hoy todavía en varias expresiones similares del lenguaje y la cerámica, y en ciertas costumbres como usar piedras de jade con propósitos ornamentales y religiosos, según sostienen científicos de varias partes del mundo. Gavin Menzies autor de un libro sobre la llegada de los chinos a América antes de Cristóbal Colón, que acaba de salir a la luz en Estados Unidos, afirma que varias culturas precolombinas del norte y sur del continente serían descendientes de aventureros chinos que llegaron por mar hace miles de años. En su libro titulado “1421, el año en que China descubrió el mundo”, un “best seller” en Estados Unidos, Mensies afirma que marineros chinos y sus concubinas llegaron pr segunda vez a América ese año, siguiendo la ruta marítima que marcaron almirantes de la Dinastía Ming, y que en sus viajes visitaron varios pueblos y fundaron otros. Las similitudes entre estos indígenas americanos y los chinos sugieren que ambos tienen los mismos genes y comparten el mismo origen, apunta. “El ADN de la población maya de Yucatán, por ejemplo, es mucho más parecida al de los chinos que al de la gene que vivió alrededor de los mayas”, afirma el escritor en su trabajo. Según el libro de Menzies, este pueblo no sólo tiene genes similares al de los chinos, sino que además guarda con ellos otras similitudes, como la de fundar sus ciudades cerca del mar y tener estilos de vida parecidos.

During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), a group of Chinese scholars wrote about a purported Chinese sailor journeyed to a distant country called Fusang, revealed in a book recently published in English, Mr. Hu Chundong, a retired teacher of the Beijing Normal University. Subsequent investigations led to affirm that this name (Fusang) referred to an area now occupied by Mexico. Coincidentally, a Mayan legend explained the origin of their ancestors in an influx of strangers who came to Yucatan by sea from the West, says the said teacher. Mr. Hu also supports the notion of the close links between the Chinese and the Indians. For over 25 years Mr. Hu has studied the Maya hieroglyphs and found similarities between the Mayan dialects and the ancient Chinese language. Through the contrastive linguistic method, which is used to compare the two languages, the said teacher chose 100 words from each language and found that 22 are similar in pronunciation, especially with the southeastern Chinese dialects. This discovery, among others, allows the said teacher hypothesizes that the Mayans (or at least a group of them) came from Asia 5,000 years ago. This is further supported by the discoveries of the similarities between Mayan and Chinese handicrafts. In the Mayan handicrafts there existed certain “Chinese style”, especially in pieces found in Campeche. The latter were very similar to handicrafts of the Tang Dynasty, said Mr. Hu.

Five thousand years ago, it was said that an influx of Chinese came to the Americas and founded several indigenous villages, including the Maya of Yucatan, according to recent DNA tests to heirs of both cultures. The Chinese influence on the Mayan civilization can be seen in the latter’s languages, ceramics and, in some ways, customs like using jade stones for ornamental and religious purposes, according to the arguments of some scientists of the world.  The English amateur historian, Gavin Menzies, recently wrote a book about the arrival of Chinese to America before Christopher Columbus, which book just came out in the United States. He said some pre-Columbian cultures north and south of the continent were inherited from the Chinese who arrived by sea thousands of years ago. In his book “1421 , the Year China Discovered The World”, a bestseller in the U.S., Menzies said Chinese sailors and concubines came to America for the second time that year following the route led by the Ming Dynasty Admiral (Zheng He), and that in his travels visited several villages and founded others. The similarities between the Native Americans and Chinese suggests that both have the same genes and shared the same points of origin. “The DNA of the Maya of Yucatan, for example, were much closer to the Chinese than to the people who lived around the Mayans,” says the writer in his work. According to Menzies’s book, these people not only had genes similar to the Chinese, but also possessed other similarities, for instance, they founded their cities near the sea and had similar lifestyles to the Chinese.

根据最近一本由北京师范大学退休老师胡纯栋先生在英国出版的书,在唐代(618-907)有古学者指当时有数中国船员前往一个称Fushang (中文名称不详) 遥远的国家.j经过随后的调查,该地方应是现时墨西哥所处的地方  。胡老师说巧合的是根据玛雅人(—个中美洲之古代民族) 传说,当时有一群由西方海路来的陌生人涌入他们的祖先所定居地方尤卡坦(Yucatan) 。胡老师还确信中国人跟印地安人的文化有密切联系。他在过去的25年研究了玛雅象形文字,发现玛雅方言和古汉语有很多相似之处。通过对比语言学的方法比较两种语言,胡老师在这两语言各选择了100字,他发现有22配对发音相近,特别是跟中国东南地区方言相近。这一发现令胡老师推测玛雅人(或者至少是其中有部分)是5000年前由亚洲移居过出。胡老师发现其他证据,如玛雅人跟中国人之的民间手工艺品十分相似.尤其是在坎佩切地区发现之手工艺品带有中国色彩.跟唐代之手工艺非常相似。

有说法根据最近对两种文化的后人DNA测试.可以看到五千年前中国人到过美洲,包括在尤卡坦地区建立了多个原著人村落.中国文化对马雅文化之影可以在后者之语言和陶瓷看到.在习俗也可以看到.如玛雅人使用玉石作装饰和宗教用途跟中国相似。英国业余历史学家加文孟席斯(Gavin Menzies) 在他刚刚在美国出版的书 ”1421 , the Year China Discovered The World” (1942年,中国发现世界),他写了关于中国人在哥伦布到达之前已到来美洲,他说一些南北美洲前哥伦布文化是由中国海上千多年前流传过去。孟席斯说中国船员和他们的妻妾第二次到美洲是跟随明朝著名航海家郑之航海路线,他们到步后探访一些村落其后更建起屋来。印第安人和中国人的相貌相似和具有相同的基因,看来两族人来自同一祖先。 例如尤卡坦半岛玛雅人的DNA与中国人比还要比临近地区的人更为接近.孟席斯在他的作品说,他们基因不但与中国人相似,他们还保存了其他相似的地方,如他们在海边建立城市和具有类似的生活方式。